De Soza Park
The Park was named after Henry De Soza, a successful miner. In 1883, following a donation of £100 to charity prior to visiting Europe, he was crowned the “Gold King”. The Park was a wasteland and gradually reclaimed by the Buninyong Shire Council. The sculpture at the front of the Park is a depiction of a Chilean Wheel, used for crushing quartz to extract the gold.
1. The original mine was known as the Grand Junction Mine. Some time after 1859 the name was changed to the Crown Quartz Mining Company and the mine was still operating in 1875. The amount of gold recovered from the mine was 85.495 kg or 2,749 oz. The poppet head was erected in 1982 by the Buninyong Gold King Festival Committee in recognition of the historic significance of the site. The mound of dirt on the right of the track is a the remnant of one of the few mullock heaps remaining in Buninyong. To the left of the heap is the mine shaft now indicated by a closed off pipe.
Old Burial Ground
2. The official Cemetery, from the 1840s, after the Buninyong Village was established. None of the graves are marked and records are sketchy. Edward Martin, murdered in 1846 is buried there. When the town was first surveyed in 1849, a new cemetery had to be established at least a mile away from the town centre. The earliest recorded burial in the New Cemetery was Elizabeth Ann Gullan, on 20th Aug 1852, aged 2.
Buninyong Tannery and Tannery Dam
3. Started by the Graham Brothers in association with Arthur C. Davies, a saddler, possibly in the early 1860s. In 1886, 35 to 40 workers were employed and the tannery was “exporting to England about two bales of light crop leather per month.” The tannery later became the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, “dressing not only all kinds of native skins from kangaroo to the rabbit, but importing immense quantities of goat skins from [India].”
In 1903 the main section of the Tannery was burnt. Of the £10,000 plus loss, £7,800 was covered by insurance. The tannery was rebuilt but ceased operating in the 1920s.
The Tannery Dam was built across the Union Jack Creek to provide a permanent water supply to the Tannery.
Ballarat Bird World
4. Open 7 days a week. Closed Christmas Day. Hours 10am-5pm. Located at 408 Eddy Ave, Mt Helen Vic 3350. Set in native bushland, with its waterfalls, rainforest and over 1 km of walkways giving easy access for visitors to view exotic Australian native plants and gardens plus one of Australia’s largest display of parrots and cockatoos in spacious aviaries.
Robbie Burns Hotel Site
5. The Hotel was shifted to this site from the Whitehorse Ranges in 1857, the first Licensee being Walter Robertson.
Closed before 1903 as no longer appears in the rates.
6. Joins Union Jack Creek in Eyre St. The creek flows along Glencoe Lead and under the old Buninyong Railway Line. The creek has been covered up by the new sports ground and flows through pipes from Inglis St, the only visible section is between Inglis and Cornish Sts.
7. Built in 1906 by Lawrence Middleton who was a store keeper and ironmonger. In 1928 he erected, in front of the store, five petrol bowsers, the first in Buninyong.
8. The shop was built in the 1860s for George Whykes. The foundations rest on large roughly rectangular rocks with adzed floors and an underground cellar. The shop warehouse was on the left hand side of the shop. In 1989 the warehouse, then operating as the Ol’ Tin Shed, was pulled down following the collapse of a mine tunnel now capped by concrete.
9. The library was built on land donated by Robert Allan around 1860. It was opened on 21 May 1861 and cost £385. The façade is most unusual, simulating rusticated stone work and was constructed from Oregon and Sugar pine, fixed with hand made nails. After the First World War [1914-18] the Library ceased to operate and the building was used either as a residence and/or shop. The building deteriorated to the point where extensive renovation was needed. This was restored, using a grant from the Historic Buildings Council and the Library reopened in 1991.
Currently, the building operates as a Tourist Information Centre, History Centre and Family Research Centre (open 10am- 3pm, Wed-Sun)